How to Do Local SEO in 2015

Written by: Jason Bayless | March 12, 2015

Some businesses have a broad target audience that spans across state lines and even across multiple continents. For example, many e-commerce retailers are able to sell their products nationally or internationally, and they may be focused on trying to get their website visible to the largest geographic area possible to maximum their profit margin. Other businesses, however, have a far more localized target audience. For example, a plumber in Seattle may have no need to advertise services to those with a dripping faucet in Miami. If you are trying to implement a local SEO campaign for 2015, you may be wondering what it takes to be successful. 

New Changes with Google for 2015

Because Google is by far one of the most popular search engines, it is important to pay attention to changes Google makes with regards to its algorithms. At the end of 2014, it moved forward with the Pigeon update, which was largely focused on improving the mobile and local search efforts by its users. While there were several changes, one change is better results for mobile users who are looking for local businesses close to their location. However, a ding in this area is that those businesses that are outside a search radius but that are also within the same city or geographic area may not be ranked as highly. 

Selecting Your Search Terms

With any local search engine campaign, it is important to drill down your location. You may want to target those in the entire metropolitan area, but you may be competing with many other businesses for generic terms. For example, “shoe store Los Angeles” may yield many results for a user. However, “sandals Los Angeles” or “men’s work boots Burbank” may provide you with a higher ranking when these specific terms are used. While you want to focus on terms that relate to your business, it may also be cost-effective to focus on terms that are not being targeted by others. For example, if you sell sandals and boots and boots is less targeted, it may be more cost-effective to try to get a higher ranking by targeting your efforts in this area. Another idea is to use target brands that you sell. For example, if you sell designer women’s dresses and your target audience may be looking for a Vera Wang evening gown specifically, you can target the brand with a local approach. For example, you can use “Vera Wang Los Angeles” as a term.

Consider Your Consumers’ Needs

When many consumers use a search engine, they may have a specific need in mind, and your local customers may have a very specific need. For example, if there is a heat wave in Atlanta that is making utility bills skyrocket and your company offers HVAC maintenance with energy-saving benefits, you can create an article or blog based on this topic. Incorporate keywords and relevant or newsworthy data into it, such as “summer 2015 Atlanta” and “lower energy bills Atlanta” into your article. Be sure to include a call to action on an SEO-rich blog post, and add a link to your company’s website for articles that will be featured off of your website. 

While your main goal for your SEO efforts may be to drive targeted leads to your website, your SEO campaigns should not be entirely focused on the keywords and geographic location themselves. Pay attention to the information and content that your consumers may find most helpful. Think about their needs and concerns, and try to create relevant information for them. It may be especially helpful to think about the current needs of local consumers and to create timely yet SEO-rich blog posts and articles based on those needs. Because the needs of your local consumers will change periodically, it is important to pay attention to your consumers’ needs and to use your online presence in a helpful, effective way through SEO.